Dear Airbnb: #WeAccept is your biggest problem

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Last night’s Super Bowl, along with being arguably the most dramatic in the history of the contest, might also go down in history as the most political. Indeed, it’s difficult to recall a time when so many corporate ads seemed so deliberately crafted to leave a sour taste in the mouths of conservatives and Trump supporters. Whether it was the juvenile assault on President Trump’s hairstyle by haircare company It’s a 10, the hysterically preachy ad by 84 Lumber, or the maudlin and disgustingly dishonest missive on gender equality from Audi, this year’s Super Bowl ads managed to be both a thumb in their viewers’ eyes and a middle finger toward their viewers’ politics.

However, perhaps no ad managed to be so thoroughly tone deaf as the smug, saccharine, and stupid Airbnb ad known only by its hashtag — #WeAccept. Indeed, quite apart from the ad’s political content, one feels duty bound to mention that it almost failed to mention Airbnb at all, except for a millisecond introduction of the company’s logo at the very end. The difference between marketing and virtue signaling obviously eludes Airbnb’s execs.

{mosads}And you know what else eludes them? Irony. Because as it happens, one of the greatest causes of public relations headaches for Airbnb has been its slavish adherence to the ad’s very motto: #WeAccept.


Confused? Well, ask yourself this: Just who exactly has Airbnb accepted as, say, tenants in the properties it purports to share? Here, in no particular order, are a few inconvenient examples of just what #WeAccept has meant when filtered through Airbnb’s profit seeking mindset that they so cravenly disguise as social justice:

For starters, in Chicago, Airbnb might as well have titled the ad #WeAccept Bombings. Just ask Michael DeBrown, a 25-year-old Airbnb tenant who was recently charged with unlawful use of a weapon. Why? Because, according to the Chicago Tribune, his host discovered that he had built “a 10-inch long pipe bomb with a fuse sticking out of it, copper wire, tools, heat gun, dremel tool and other items.” Needless to say, the host evacuated, and with good reason: before it became clear that DeBrown was interested in building tools of domestic terrorism, he’d also asked pointed questions about where to buy drugs. Charming sort to “share” your home with. But hey, no problem for Airbnb. After all, #WeAccept!

Oh, but don’t think that’s the only bad example. In fact, on the subject of drugs, let’s talk about another set of lovely people to whom Airbnb’s #WeAccept motto apparently applies: namely, drug users, hookers, and porn filmmakers, and all operating out of one apartment!

I wish I was kidding. According to the New York Post, New York tenant Thomas Tartaglia recently got dragged into court by his landlord over the sorts of people who he had sublet his apartment to through Airbnb. Some of those people acted like violent robbers and broke into neighbors’ apartments. Others left a mess including Trojan condom wrappers and bags of white powder (presumably cocaine) that most likely result from an amateur porno shoot. Still others, who the landlord discovered while dealing with a fire hazard, were apparently openly using drugs and prostituting themselves. But hey, no need for Airbnb to do anything: after all, #WeAccept!

Oh, and let’s not forget the poor Australian hosts whose house became the site of a party so wild that it was eventually gatecrashed by violent street gangs who forced fleeing guests to jump fences as they assaulted them with bricks. But no, by all means, let’s not bring that up because #WeAccept!

These embarrassing incidents are, however, more than isolated moments of incompetence. They are indicative of a much more pervasive and systematic refusal by Airbnb to treat the rule of law with the sort of conscientiousness it deserves. These stories might be particularly horrific, but they are far from unique or uncommon

Given this, and given Airbnb’s apparent desire to flaunt their smug, pathologically altruistic, and suicidal sense of inclusiveness, it seems that it might be time for those of us who believe in such non-inclusive concepts as safety, security, the rule of law, and the right not to have your property defiled by uninvited hoodlums to send a very different message. Namely, that when it comes to Airbnb and its toxic combination of negligence and leftism, #WeReject.

Mytheos Holt (@MytheosHolt) is a senior fellow at the Institute for Liberty. He has worked as a speechwriter for Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and as a writer for publications including The Federalist.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

Tags Airbnb John Barrasso Mytheos Holt Super Bowl Technology

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